Chief Editor
The Australian share market has risen almost 15% since its low of 2666 (XAO) on March 13 this year. Some very honest people have said to me their portfolio has not risen anywhere near this extent. How come?
Firstly to achieve precisely as the index has, theoretically you would have had to have zero invested at March 12 and invested at the low of March 13 and to have sold yesterday at the high for the day. Not likely – not even for the clever fund mangers!

Also you would have to have been invested in stocks according to the weighting of the various sectors of the day. Most private investors do not follow the index in contrast to professional investors who have funds that actually track the indices regardless of whether they like the stock or the sector. Some funds (Index Funds) are obliged to do so, if that is how they have promoted the managed fund whilst others will follow the index as a defensive strategy – that way they cannot get it too far wrong!

So if you have not achieved 15% do not be too hard on yourself, as many fund managers have not. Some investors will have done a lot better than the XAO as they will have ignored the index and followed the “hot” sectors such as Media up 24% (PBL up 32%), Retailing 21%, Banks 20% and Transport 18%.

I admit sector analysis is an old hobbyhorse but it can help you achieve well in excess of the overall market and fund managers bound by various conventions.

Tom Scollon
Chief Editor